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Canadian Environmental Advisory Council

by Chris Sorrenti

the Environmental Advisory Council’s a fun place to be
there’s Max McDonald with a pencil in his mouth
running back and forth to the telex machine
a champion of bureaucratic power
you can hear his hearty laughter right down the hall
as he greets colleague after necktied colleague

his assistant Veena Pumernell always has a smile
although buried knee deep in the paperwork
funding’s down slightly but the public is concerned
so her contract will surely be renewed
she may be Indonesian of origin and custom
but her heart’s in the Canadian Shield

there are multinational conglomerates defecating across the country
but nothing gets past these guys and gals
the Prime Minister’s got an ear hanging on the wall
though CEAC’s outside the main departmental organization
drop by for coffee on a Friday afternoon
they’ll be happy to discuss the latest ecological trends

© 1985

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Author's Note: As per Gail's question, yes, based on a real office down the hall from where I worked during the 1980s. The two personal names mentioned in this poem have been changed for privacy purposes, but are very similar to their actual namesakes. I'll soon be putting up an essay piece that goes into more detail as per my own work at Environment Canada. Thanks again everyone for your patronage and support! :)

Posted on 08/15/2014
Copyright © 2020 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Laura Doom on 08/16/14 at 10:48 AM

Hopefully the 'Council' consumed a modest amount of power and paper. Of course, poets run on emotion, the most expensive form of fuel...

Posted by Gail Wolper on 08/17/14 at 01:15 AM

This based on a true situation?Clever and humerous.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 08/18/14 at 01:03 AM

I enjoyed being taking inside this agency, pencil-in-mouth and all.

Posted by Glenn Currier on 08/19/14 at 04:06 PM

I like poems like this - with names (even if disguised) and personal detail, wrapping the ordinary, routine, and sometimes tedious, in poetic clothing. Thanks Chris.

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